Unregistered pharmacy staff and pharmacy support staff

Unregistered pharmacy staff

Unregistered pharmacy staff refers to staff within the pharmacy team who are not registered with us but are involved in pharmacy services at or from a registered pharmacy. It includes pharmacy staff such as dispensers and medicines counter assistants, commonly referred to as ‘support staff’, as well as pharmacy managers.

Strengthening our framework

Following the GPhC Council meeting held on 10 May 2018 (read the paper here), it has been agreed that the GPhC will continue to approve Level 2 for the pharmacy team. In summary, unregistered pharmacy staff who are involved in supplying medicine to the public must be competent to a level equivalent to the relevant knowledge and skill of a nationally recognised Level 2 Qualification in England and Wales, or a Level 5 qualification in Scotland; or training towards this and working under the supervision of a qualified member of staff. 

The requirement for the GPhC to continue to approve Level 2 programmes is currently being explored through our quality assurance workstream which is part of the Council’s education reform programme. 

The Education Team will resume the process of reaccrediting all Level 2 programmes that were previously granted extensions. We will be looking to undertake the Level 2 reaccreditation events during Autumn 2018.

Pharmacy support staff

As well as accrediting courses for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, we also accredit training courses for pharmacy support staff. Dispensing/pharmacy assistants and medicines counter assistants must have undertaken the appropriate training.

Dispensing/pharmacy assistant

A dispensing assistant (or pharmacy assistant) is involved in a range of duties within the pharmacy. They work under the supervision of a pharmacist and assist the pharmacist and pharmacy technician in the dispensing process. A dispensing/pharmacy assistant might work in a hospital pharmacy or community pharmacy and have varying roles and responsibilities.

Medicines counter assistant

A medicines counter assistant is involved in the sale of over-the-counter medicines and works under the supervision of a pharmacist. They are trained to offer advice on common ailments and must know when to refer a customer to a pharmacist.